Utilization of personal protective equipment among sawmill workers in Ilorin metropolis, north-central Nigeria
Objective: Wood dust becomes a potential health problem when wood particles from processes such as sanding, cutting, drilling, sawing or turning to sap wood becomes airborne. Occupational exposure in sawmills has suggested that workers in sawmills are at risk of developing allergenic disorders, cancers and lung disease. This study assessed the utilization of personal protective equipment among sawmill workers in Ilorin metropolis.
Methods: The study was descriptive cross-sectional by design assessing utilization of personal protective devices among sawmill workers in Ilorin metropolis involving 250 sawmill workers that were registered under the Ilorin Plank Sellers' Association. Data was collected using semi-structured, intervieweradministered questionnaires from the participants. The participants were recruited using multistage sampling technique. Data collected from the questionnaire were analyzed using SPSS 16.0 software package.
Results: The majority 144 (57.6%) of the respondents own at least one of the personal protective devices while 134 (53.6%) of the respondents utilized at least one of the personal protective devices. Only 54 (21.6%) and 95 (38.0%) of the respondents possess aprons and hand gloves respectively. The least owned PPEs were earmuffs (10.8%) and safety boots (16.8%). Among the 166 respondents who never use PPE, 86 (74.1%) reported inconveniency as the reason for non-utilization of PPE.
Conclusion: There is a need to improve the level of knowledge, availability and use of protective devices among the workers through subsequent sensitization and enlightenment on the need to use PPE.
Keywords: Sawmill, Utilization, Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, Workers